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Special Sections:

January 2003

Jennings Versus Reality

Despite polls indicating a substantial jump for the President’s Iraq policy after the State of the Union, Peter Jennings claimed “we found that people had not changed their minds in significant numbers.”
(CyberAlert, January 30)


Networks Bring on Iraqi Officials & Dems to Discuss State of the Union

ABC’s Good Morning America interviewed Iraqi official Tariq Aziz, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and former Clintonite turned ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos. NBC’s Today included a sound bite from a “typical” Iraqi who told President Bush to “keep his nose out of our…affairs.”
(CyberAlert, January 30)


Bush as “Sadistic Murderer”

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews scolded Bush for suggesting terrorists have been hunted down and murdered. “I’m afraid that’s the President at his least attractive,” he claimed.
(CyberAlert, January 30)


ABC’s Post-State of the Union Features Iraqi Talking Points

President Bush’s claims that the Iraqis are not cooperating with inspectors would be easily dismissed, ABC’s Dan Harris reported from Baghdad. Inspectors, Harris said, had been in Iraq “for more than 60 days and so far have found nothing.”
(CyberAlert, January 29)


CBS Hypes Kennedy’s Opposition

CBS’s Bob Schieffer treated Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy’s opposition to President Bush’s Iraq policy as news. Schieffer repeated Kennedy’s claim that Bush had a “go it alone foreign policy.”
(CyberAlert, January 29)


Jennings Stresses "More Time", Brokaw and Rather Don't

Peter Jennings led his newscast with "the inspectors want more time to do their job." Both CBS and NBC led their programs with the fact that Iraq has failed to comply with the United Nations resolution.
(CyberAlert, January 28)


Thomas Attacks Again

Hearst Newspapers' Helen Thomas delivered yet another partisan rant against the Bush administration in the form of a press conference question. "Who in this country, besides the President and his courtiers, want to go to war with Iraq?" she demanded of press secretary Air Fleischer.
(CyberAlert, January 27)


Jennings: U.S. Too Aggressive

Peter Jennings, on the road in Amman, Jordan, said there “are a lot of people who think the Bush administration is being too aggressive about Iraq.” Jennings then added that the King of Jordan thinks the Iraqi people fear Saddam Hussein more than Bush.
(CyberAlert, January 24)


Rather: The Iraqis Will Fight to the Death

Maybe. The CBS anchor delivered a report from Baghdad in which several Iraqis, including a college professor and a government official, claimed they would fight to the end. Occasionally, Rather noted that Iraqis are “restricted in what they can say publicly.”
(CyberAlert, January 24)


NBC: Staged Anti-U.S. Events are “Real” News

NBC reported that anti-U.S. protests by “tourists” have become a “near daily ritual” and that an Iraqi chicken farmer is threatening to sue the United Nations. 
(CyberAlert, January 24)


Good Point

During MSNBC’s Hardball, Retired U.S. Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey took Peter Arnett to task for his milk factory reporting in 1991. “That was a biological weapons site also,” McCaffrey claimed. When Arnett suggested, “we pass that one by,” McCaffrey noted that the U.S. found tons of chemical weapons in Iraq after the 1991 war. 
(CyberAlert, January 24)


Jennings Delivers Saddam Spin From Baghdad

Peter Jennings noted that artists and writers were thanking Saddam Hussein for their latest monthly stipend. Jennings also thought the dictator would be encouraged by violence against Americans in Kuwait.
(CyberAlert, January 22)


More Saddam Spin: He’s a Sound Sleeper

Jennings dutifully relayed Iraqi propaganda. Saddam goes out the second his head hits the pillow. “Unlike some officials in other governments,” the ABC anchor said.
(CyberAlert, January 22)


Those Protesters Were So Creative!

The Washington Post style reporter Hank Stuever just adored the Washington, D.C. peace protestors. “Blessed are the people who make great signs,” Stuever wrote. Among the most blessed, in his opinion, were those holding a sign calling Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld “The Asses of Evil” and another group who’s sign claimed Fox News is a Nazi stronghold.
(CyberAlert, January 22)


Why Didn’t the Networks Show This?

A National Review Online article from Daniel Flynn described the rampant anti-Americanism he saw at the “peace” protests.
(CyberAlert, January 22)


Because They “Overlook” Liberal Crazies

Former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg, in an appearance on Fox News Hannity & Colmes, noted: “If there’s a demonstration with a lot of liberals in it, against the war, they’re going to minimize the craziest of the liberals.”
(CyberAlert, January 22)


CBS Paints Protestors as American Cross-Section

CBS joined the list of networks that appeared intent on whitewashing the “peace” marchers. Correspondent John Blackstone noted the San Francisco crowd “seemed to span the generations” and reminded one old protestor of “the anti-war movement’s glory days.”
(CyberAlert, January 21)


Poor Little Peace Protestors

Are bound to “feel the hot breath of the patriotism police,” according to MSNBC’s Brian Williams.
(CyberAlert, January 21)


Just Normal Folks

According to media reports, the protest crowd in Washington, D.C. was composed of grandparents, soccer moms, Republicans, students and businessmen.
(CyberAlert, January 20)


Media Ignore Radical Organizing Group

The Washington protest was organized by the group ANSWER (Act Now To Stop War and Racism) and the media provided practically no background on the group. On its web site, ANSWER demands the immediate disarmament of the U.S. and calls for a "people's inspection team." Coalition members include notbable anti-Americans such as Ramsey Clark, Cynthia McKinney and Jessica Lange. 
(CyberAlert, January 20)


Newspapers Ignore Radical Speeches and Comments

The Washington Post and New York Times covered the protests but ignored the radical speeches and rhetoric.
CyberAlert, January 20)


Anti-War Protest?

ABC's Terry Moran described how a Syrian anti-war protest tied up traffic in Damascus but didn't bother to mention that a portion of the crowed was hardly anti-war. "Our beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv," some shouted.
CyberAlert, January 20)


World News Tonight Showcases Anti-Bush Daisy Ad

An anti-Gore Daisy ad was fretted over when it briefly ran in the 2000 campaign. An anti-Bush Daisy ad from an anti-war group, however, has caused ABC to marvel at how protesters have "gone from the streets to the information highway."
(CyberAlert, January 17)


Anti-Gore Ad Was "Nasty", Anti-Bush Ad "New"

ABC's Good Morning America condemned the anti-Gore ad in 2000 as campaign vitriol. The anti-Bush ad received no such condemnation. Diane Sawyer simply announced that Americans would see a "new" ad based on the "famous anti-war ad from the '60s."
(CyberAlert, January 17)


ABC & CBS Cite Drop in Polls; Fox Says It's Holding Steady

Polls, polls and more polls. Polls show a large majority of Americans favor using military force to remove Saddam Hussein but ABC and CBS claimed their polls indicated a drop in support for Bush's Iraq policy while a Fox News poll showed support holding even.
CyberAlert, January 17)


Anti-War Ad Links Bush to Nuclear War...

...And the CBS News staff didn't find a thing wrong with it. Last night's Evening News showcased an anti-war ad that suggested the Bush foreign policy would lead to nuclear war. CBS offered not a hint of condemnation.
(CyberAlert, January 16)


OK, How About Some "Other" Voices?

The January 12 World News Tonight showcased war protesters again, including a Columbia University professor who claimed "mainstream America" believes the war doesn't make sense. The story came three months after Peter Jennings promised to highlight "other voices" on the Iraq issue. That day's segment featured nine war opponents and not a single supporter of military action against Saddam Hussein.
(CyberAlert, January 15)


Networks Highlight Lack of “Smoking Gun”

UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix announced his group had yet to find “a smoking gun” linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction. The networks wondered how the Bush administration could contemplate war without such evidence from the UN.
(CyberAlert, January 10)


Bush Scares North Korea, CBS Says So

CBS correspondent Barry Petersen was so certain of the answers that he finished sentences for a South Korean presidential adviser in a recent interview. When the adviser noted that the North Koreans “have to not feel threatened by any country” Petersen interjected “or George Bush.” “You said it, I didn’t,” the Korean responded.
(CyberAlert, January 10)


North Korea’s Kim Jong Il “Perfectly Rational” Before Bush

ABC’s Mark Litke suggested that Kim Jong Il, a brutal dictator who has starved his own people, was doing well until President Bush included North Korea in the “axis of evil.” He quoted former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who said Kim was “perfectly rational” when she met with him in the 1990s.
(CyberAlert, January 9)


Helen’s Latest Harangue

At the first White House press conference of the year, supposedly objective correspondent Helen Thomas of Hearst Newspapers demanded to know why the U.S. wants “to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis.” Thomas also complained that “many countries” don’t have any influence on U.S. policy.
(CyberAlert, January 7)


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